Iran and the EU agreed on Thursday to continue dialogue in Brussels to resume talks on a failed 2015 nuclear deal between the Islamic Republic and world powers, Tehran said.
The European Union’s envoy responsible for coordinating talks on relaunching the Iran nuclear deal, Enrique Mora, met for several hours with Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister Ali Bagheri, as Western powers lose patience with Tehran in the face of the persistent lack of a firm date for the resumption of talks.
Dialogue on the deal has stalled since June.
“At the end of this meeting, the two sides agreed to continue the dialogue on matters of mutual interest in the coming days in Brussels,” Iranian foreign ministry said in a statement, which noted that Mora had said the EU was “ready to work with Iran”. and the other parts “.
The talks coincided with a visit by EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell to Washington for talks with US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, who on Wednesday warned of “other options” in case of failure of diplomacy.
At the same time, his visiting Israeli counterpart reserved the right to use force.
The 2015 nuclear deal, which gave Iran sanctions relief in exchange for restrictions on its nuclear activities, has been on life support since 2018, when US President Donald Trump unilaterally withdrew.
Trump has reimposed crippling sanctions while Iran, which insists its nuclear program is for civilian use only, has gradually rolled back its own commitments.
Mora’s trip to Tehran has been accompanied by increasing pressure from EU countries as well as the United States to quickly resume talks on Washington’s return to the deal.
Ahead of Thursday’s meeting with Mora, Bagheri, in charge of Iran’s nuclear file, tweeted that “removal of cruel sanctions” would be on the agenda.
– ‘Other options’ –
US President Joe Biden, who took office in January, has signaled his willingness to revert to the nuclear deal.
Talks were held earlier this year in Vienna between Iran and the other parties to the deal – Britain, China, France, Germany and Russia – with indirect US participation .
Talks have been suspended since the June elections in Iran led to a change of president.
The new president Ebrahim Raisi – a former ultra-conservative head of the judiciary – is said to be less ready than his predecessor Hassan Rouhani to make concessions to the West in the name of a revived deal.
Iran has repeatedly said it is ready to resume talks “soon”, but no date has yet been announced.
Blinken told reporters on Wednesday that he hoped the talks with Iran would be successful, but warned that “the trail that remains for us to do so is getting shorter and shorter.”
Referring to the threat of Israeli Foreign Minister Yair Lapid to use force, Blinken said without further details: “We are ready to look to other options if Iran does not change course. .
– ‘Adventurous threats’ –
Tehran is seeking European guarantees that there will be no repeat of Trump’s unilateral withdrawal.
Mora attended Raisi’s inauguration in August, drawing criticism from the EU of Israel, a fierce critic of the nuclear deal with its nemesis Iran.
Israel is engaged in a shadow war with Iran, targeting its military sites in the Syrian ally and waging a campaign of sabotage against its nuclear program.
Iran warned Israel in a letter to the head of the UN Security Council on Thursday against any attack on its nuclear facilities.
“We warn the Zionist regime against any miscalculation or military adventure targeting Iran and its nuclear program,” Iranian Ambassador to the UN Majid Takht Ravanchi wrote in the letter released by the agency. Tasnim press release.
He accused Israel of taking its “provocative and adventurous threats … to alarming levels” and said that the “systematic and explicit threats of the Zionist regime … prove that it is responsible for the terrorist attacks against the peaceful nuclear program (of Iran) in the past “.
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